Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Planetary Photography -- 07-29-2017 -- Luna, Jupiter & Spica

On Saturday, June 29th, I took these two shots of the planet Jupiter with the moon and the bright star Spica about fifty minutes after sunset.  

The day before Jupiter had been closer to Luna and Spica in the sky, but cloud cover prevented me to get a good photo. 

In a few days on Wednesday, August 2nd, Luna will be near Saturn in the night sky. I will attempt to get a photo of the meeting weather permitting. Until then keep watching the skies. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Confused Regressive Birmingham Rabbi Confuses Honoring Southern Dead With Nazism

Greetings and Salutations everyone!

Today I have another special snowflake for y'all, one that goes all out on the whole comparison between honoring Confederate symbols (in this case monuments to the Southern dead) and Nazism. Yep, good ole Godwin's Law strikes again folks. The main argument used by the Social Just-Us crowd. 

On Thursday, July 27th, this extra-special snowflake, a Rabbi from Birmingham no less, decided to post the following article at al.com HERE. It should be noted that the site's message board is heavily edited and several fact-based pro-monument details have been deleted from comments. So because of this once again yours truly will deliver the proper rebuttal here on this blog. 

As always my responses are written in Southern Red:   

Regressive Anti-Confederate Heritage Bigot struggles to understand Southerners' affection for the Confederacy Confederate Dead -- and fails bigtime!
By Jonathan Miller, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham (With special guest C.W. Roden -- The Man Deniers Fear The Most)

I am trying to understand the affection many Southerners have for the monuments and symbols of the Confederacy. That takes an open mind and not one full of SJW nonsense, sir.

Our first home in the Birmingham area was in a neighborhood named after Civil War battles more than 150 years ago. During these battles, America lost 2 percent of its population to battlefield casualties. Actually most casualties of the War Between the States were the result of diseases caught in camp, rather than actual battlefield wounds. No doubt one of many facts you will get wrong. If we consider the wives and sisters and children and parents who grieved for these soldiers on both sides of the war, the number of people who personally suffered grows exponentially. No doubt there, and I do applaud your ability to think of them. Some of those same Alabama families were the wives, brothers, and children of my own great-great-grandfather, a proud Confederate soldier who was killed at Chickamauga. And considering the fact that the Southern states seceded from the Union in order to preserve its way of life which was dependent on the institution of slavery and built on the backs of cruel taskmasters parading as gentle men and women, it is astonishing to think of this war as a moment of honor. Again your ignorance of the details shows sir.
(1) Slave masters, particularly rich plantation owners, did not personally deal with slaves in the fields. Those jobs went to overseers and sometimes black foremen, who were usually the cruel ones.
(2) The institution of slavery unfortunately was in no real danger of being abolished in the United States when the first seven Southern States seceded from the Union in 1860-1861. President Lincoln himself stated on more than one occasion that he had no plans to interfere with slavery in the States that currently practiced it.
(3) Nobody who honors the bravery of the Confederate citizen soldier thinks of that war, or the idea of war itself, as a "moment of honor" in any significant way. That you would interpret remembering the dead and war in such a manner reflects very poorly on your attitudes as a man of faith, and sense of morality as a human being.

Why would people living in Alabama want to memorialize the Civil War, let alone remember these battles as moments of Southern glory? Why do people in my own state of South Carolina remember and memorialize the American Revolutionary War? I mean slavery was practiced in America then too and the institution was in full force even as Americans fought to maintain independence from the British Crown -- the same British Empire that was already abolishing slavery in its other colonies FYI. 
Also I would again stress that honoring the dead and remember the battles does not mean memorializing war, or calling it "glory" dude.

The South lost.
The entire USA lost Vietnam, what's your point?

And as painful as that was for people living in Alabama so many decades ago, I am glad about that. Well glad you are living in a war that ended long before either of us were born. For me I don't dwell on the war itself, just honoring the dead on both sides. It wasn't my war anymore than it was yours. We kept our place in the United States of America. "We?" Um, you didn't fight in the war, nor do you speak for the events that happened so long ago. We are not a group-think collective, Rabbi Social "Just Us" Warrior. We (Americans in 1865) abolished the stain of slavery, even though the legacy of slavery and its later bigotry and racism still make life hard for the people whose ancestors were bought and sold as chattel. That of course was not just a "Southern thang" though was it? Lots of blame on racism and white supremacist attitudes to go all around in the good ole US of A in the late 19th to mid 20th.

And slavery, it should be noted (you missed a comma here) made life far more complicated for the slave owners and traffickers and bounty hunters who were sucked into the vortex of exploitation and violence against human beings. No doubt there, it certainly was for the folks who actually had to do the dirty work in the fields too. Slavery was and is morally wrong, and its discontinuance should be celebrated by every person of every color and religious faith. So remind me again what you and your faith (and I don't mean your religious one....or maybe I am considering the "religion" of SJWs is Liberalism first and foremost) are doing about ending slavery that still goes on in Africa and parts of the Middle East today in the 21st century? So why are some in the South in love with honor and respect the symbols of the Confederacy, particularly when they are symbols of people who lost their war and who inflected pain on their fellow human beings? Why do we honor the US flag and have that great big "participation trophy" (oops I mean wall) in Washington DC to the men who died in Vietnam, who participated in a number of alleged war crimes according to some? Humm?

I am a Jew. Really so is my friend Jenna, who also happens to be one of those "in love with" flags, monuments and graves honoring the Southern dead. I am sensitive to symbols which haunt my historical memory. Probably a little bit too sensitive like all Left-leaning twits too. The Nazi symbol of the swastika evokes fear and terror for me. Ah here we go. When I see it, I feel the pain of the terrible cruelty that Germany and Europe inflicted on their citizens and my people. Um, actually "Germany and Europe" itself did not commit those atrocities, rather it was people who did it. Land masses themselves cannot commit crimes. It makes me shudder. I am also presuming you personally were not old enough to have been involved in the Holocaust were you?

I have traveled to Germany. At first, I did not want to go. I did not want to hear the German language or admire German architecture or German culture. So you admit to being a cultural bigot then? Good, admitting ones flaws is the first step to recovery. It brought back too many painful images for me. Again why? Germany has a long and rich cultural identity that existed for centuries, and that is not redefined by the efforts of the Nazi Party. Far from it. Of course as a Conservative, I do not accept the concept of "collectivist guilt" nor believe that a people are guilty of the alleged crimes of one's forefathers. But I have found my travels to Germany to be healing to some degree.

The German people regret the Holocaust when they slavishly followed history's cruelest madman and perpetuated the worst crimes against humanity. Virtually all of the German people living today of course did not live during the scourge of Nazism and fascism. What would they have to feel any "guilt" over? Again collectivist guilt is garbage. While they may exist in dark alleyways, I did not see any swastikas Did you try the local Hindu temples? or jackbooted soldiers Being a democracy, Germany does not have uniformed soldiers patroling the streets in any form. or Hitler look-alikes trying to recapture the imagined glory of the Third Reich at its most powerful. Now you're just being stupid to the point of being brain-dead silly. Where are you going with this?

Instead, the German people preserved their history without trying to whitewash it. Good for them. Seriously, I support similar efforts, even though you and I might differ on what would define "whitewashing" I suppose. On the streets of Berlin and Frankfurt and Munich are small monuments of remembrance. "Behind this wall was a Jewish school." "Here was a Jewish home/business." "On such and such a date, Jewish people were gathered in this spot and deported to (name the concentration camp) where they were killed." Sad reminders of terrible events, but I do not deny necessary ones. The victims of Hitler's holocaust of the Jewish People (not to mention any other group -- including some Christians -- that he had no use for) deserve to be remembered with dignity and honor.

Monuments like these, monuments of remembrance (again you missed a comma) remind the people of Germany of the evil their forbearers perpetuated in a brief but devastating period of historical lunacy. Such monuments exist in many countries, including this one. What is your point? In Germany today, the goal of the monuments is not to celebrate German power (comma) or to romanticize the period when the German Volk reigned supreme. Instead, the goal is to remember, to acknowledge responsibility, and then to pledge that this kind of hatred will never be perpetrated in the future against other human beings. Yes, but what does this have to do with Confederate memorials to the dead?

I believe that we Southerners should insist that we erect new monuments. I would agree there. We should not revere the generals and soldiers who lost their battles and died for an immoral cause. If by "immoral" you mean defending one's homes and families from a ruthless invader that sought to loot and plunder said homes and families, then you and I are very much in disagreement. Of course we should remember the casualties and dignify their losses to their family and community. Which is what Confederate memorials and monuments do. Of course we should remember the families who mourned for the dead sons and husbands and brothers who suffered terribly wearing the Confederate uniform and acknowledge their bravery and sacrifice. Wow you and I can agree on that one too! I'm starting to get scared now. But we should not honor the cause for which they gave the ultimate sacrifice. That cause was unjust. I would not call defending home and honor "unjust" though it is not the point. I honor the citizen soldier of the South. I could care less about the Confederate government as an entity.

We should erect monuments of places where slaves were bought and sold. We already have monuments and markers for those dude. We should erect monuments to the unnamed men and women and children whose back breaking work built our economy and sustained the privileged few. Uh we also have those too, though we could build a few more -- without tearing down other monuments or the need to vilify those who honor said monuments. We should erect monuments to the men and women of faith who resisted slavery and worked for reconciliation and wholeness and peace. Dude! We DO have monuments to those people!

The South has many heroes. We should be proud of them and celebrate them. We should also be wise enough to know who our true heroes are.

Indeed we should. In fact allow me to introduce a few of them:

Moses Ezekiel -- VMI Cadet and Confederate Veteran.
One of over 10,000 Orthodox and Messianic Jews
who fought wearing the Southern gray.
Confederate monument to Jewish Confederates in Virginia.

During World War II, it was a US military -- one largely made up of proud Confederate descendants inspired by their grandfathers who helped liberate those nations of Europe under Nazi occupation. Those same Southern-born US soldiers (some of them carrying the Dixie Cross banner in their pockets and knapsacks as reminders of their home) helped liberate those hateful Death Camps and ultimately helped save the lives of millions of Jewish (and non-Jewish) victims of the Holocaust. It was those who honored those same men who wore the hallowed Confederate gray and butternut who defeated fascism and brought Nazi war criminals to justice.

Captain John D. "Stud" Fleming of Columbia, Tennessee and commander
of the B-29 Goin Jesse waves a Confederate flag as he prepares to takeoff
on another bombing run in late 1944.

Oh and just one more thing to add: 

This is a marker placed by some of those same proud Confederate descendants, in honor of slaves buried on the site of an old cemetery near Gastonia, North Carolina. Indeed, these same people -- who honor those monuments, who fly those Confederate flags, who wear those gray uniforms on occasions -- who took the time to clear the land where these unknown graves were once overgrown and largely forgotten. Who maintain it today in memory of those souls laid to rest there, ensuring that their lives are never forgotten again.

How is THAT for erecting new memorials? 

Have a wonderful Dixie day, and y'all come back now, ya hear?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Confederate Monument In Jonesville, South Carolina

On a recent journey I took the time to stop over at the small Southern town of Jonesville in Union County and visit the Confederate monument there.

The 15 foot obelisk monument was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1907 in memory of the Confederate soldier. 

The front of the monument reads simply: "To The Confederate Dead Of Union District."

A Confederate Army of Northern Virginia pattern battle flag flies behind it on a 12 foot pole out of respect for the Southern dead.  

I hope y'all enjoyed this post and as always have a wonderful Dixie day, y'all!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Monument To British Revoultionary War Dead

The marker honoring three unknown British soldiers who fought and died
from wounded received at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781.

Near Limestone College in the town of Gaffney, in Cherokee County, there is a marker by the recently restored Limestone Springs at Hamrick Park that honors the memories of three unknown British soldiers who had been mortally wounded at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1780 and are buried on the site. 

Over 300 British soldiers had been casualties during this decisive battle of the American Revolutionary War's Southern Campaign.  After being force marched by their commander, Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton into the South Carolina backcountry in pursuit of a force of Continental army and Patriot militia led by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, these men were wounded in the battle that took place early on a cold and frosty morning. After the battle these soldiers were among those brought to the cattle drivers rest stop called Hannah's Cowpens near Limestone Springs just off the old Cherokee Ford Road, where they bled to death and died far from home and their families in a strange and largely hostile country. Their names forgotten to history, known but to God. 

In May 2012, a marker designed by Limestone College trustee and Blakely Funeral Home director Ashby Blakely was unveiled by local historian Robert Ivey with the assistance of British Revolutionary War re-enactors during a special memorial service in memory of these foreign soldiers.

They were invaders, part of an army sent to keep America under the rule of the British Crown and crust American independence. They suffered the fate of the invader, no doubt about that. 

Yet, in spite of this, they too deserve to be remembered for who they were and what they left behind, no different than any other soldier who served his country's military forces and died during the course of their duty. They deserve to be honored for the memory of their lives, and given the respect due to all men who fought in war.

Limestone Spring at Hamrick Park in Gaffney, South Carolina.
The British soldiers' marker can be see in the left of the photo
by the road.

If y'all are ever in the area of Gaffney, South Carolina, please take the time to stop by and visit this marker and the historic springs. 

Have a wonderful Dixie day, y'all! 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Henry "Dad" Brown -- Confederate Soldier & Veteran Of Three American Wars

Only known photo of Henry "Dad" Brown United Confederate
Veterans (UCV) taken with the  drum and captured drumsticks he
carried during the War Between The States.
(Photograph courtesy of the Darlington (SC) Historical Society)
In Darlington, South Carolina, there is a marker dedicated to Henry "Dad" Brown, a local resident and free person of color who served as a veteran in three American wars: the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the War Between The States/Civil War (1861-1865), and the Spanish-American War (1898)

Brown served as a musician for the 8th & 21st South Carolina regiments where he received payment of $12.00 a month. The Confederate Congress authorized salaries for black musicians in the Confederate military in 1862, it specified that they were to receive the same rate of pay as white army musicians, stating "whenever colored persons are employed as musicians in any regiment or company, they shall be entitled to the same pay now allowed by law to musicians regularly enlisted."

Pay voucher showing Henry Brown receiving $54 dollars for service with
Company F, 8th SC Infantry between January 1 - May 15, 1862.

During the war, Brown served in several battles on the line with the 8th and 21st SC Infantry Regiments -- including the first battle at Manassas (Bull Run) on Sunday, July 21, 1861. It was there that Brown captured a pair of Union drumsticks after his original sticks had been damaged (one account says shot out of his hands) and used them for the remainder of the war.

Muster roll for Henry Brown.

After the war ended, Brown returned to Darlington and became a coroner and later as a loyal Southern Democrat supported former Confederate Lieutenant General Wade Hampton in his bid to be Governor at the end of the Reconstruction Era. As a member of the United Confederate Veterans, Brown attended every convention till his death.

Brown died in 1907 and was laid to rest beside his wife Laura at Cannon Cemetery, a small family cemetery. His funeral was attended by Darlington residents both whites and blacks, as well as the former Confederate Veterans that Brown served with. His casket was covered in a Confederate battle flag and members of the UCV acted as pallbearers.

The following articles mention the life and service of Confederate Veteran Henry "Dad" Brown from those who knew him personally, followed by a news account of his funeral:

Excerpts - The Darlington Press - November 1907
Drummer of Darlington Guards And Well Known And Highly Respected Colored Man 

On Saturday afternoon the old drummer Henry Brown, well known colored man, passed away. ...the Darlington Guards assembled at their armory and marched to the house under arms. There the Captain was requested to detail pall bearers from the ranks, which he did.
When the body was brought out, the company stood at present arms. The line of march was then taken up to the church. ...When the church was reached a representative five number of the white citizens of the town acting as pall bearers took the body into the church the Company again presenting arms.
The colored Masons...took its way to the cemetery where the rest of the masonic ritual was given...the bugler Mr. Angus Gainey sounded "taps" very softly and the Company fired three rounds over the grave. Should the stranger in our gates ask, "What mean ye by this service. Why should white people thus pay honor to a colored man?" The answer would be because he was a man. In life he was faithful to every trust, his word was his bond and not only were his friends numbered among those who live in Darlington but wherever he was known and that was throughout the length and breadth of the State.
The grave was covered with beautiful flowers, the offerings of his friends, both white and colored...
Tribute to Henry Brown From Gen. W.E. James, Who Knew Him Well
On Saturday evening Henry Brown, a most highly respected colored man, died. He had lived a long life and had been one of the land marks of this community, and from his conservative and upright life he had commanded the respect of both white and colored people. ...The Darlington Guards in full uniform with arms marched to his late residence and were placed in front of the hearse...it was determined that a number of white gentlemen should act as pall bearers---should take charge of the body and attend it from his residence to the colored Presbyterian church of which he was a member. Arriving at the church the Guards presented arms and the white pall bearers took it into the church...
Henry Brown came from Camden and had been a free man all his life...When the War broke out Henry Brown went with the Darlington Guards...and remained with that company until the 1st Regiment was disbanded. He then went with the 8th Regiment to Virginia as the drummer for that regiment. He was regularly enlisted in Company E...and he remained with that regiment till its reorganization in 1862, when all above the age of thirty-five were discharged...on the 21st of July '61 the regiment was stationed at Mitchels Ford on the South side of Bull Run. The battle began two miles above and at 12 o'clock the regiment was ordered to go where the battle was raging. As soon as the order came Henry began to beat the long roll. This indicated to a battery on the other side of the Run the position of the regiment and the shells began to fall thick and fast. It was some time before the Colonel could stop him but he was beating all the time regardless of the danger. He followed on to the battlefield and was under fire with the others.
After leaving the 8th regiment he joined Capt. S.H. Wilds' company and remained with the 21st S.C. regiment to the close of the war. 
When...the reconstruction period began...Henry was given the office of Coroner, which he held for a while, but when he saw the injuries that were being done to the white people by those men who were in office, he allied himself with the white people and remained so for the rest of his life. When Camp Darlington No. 785 U.C.V. was organized he had his name enrolled and never missed a reunion...He prided himself on being a Veteran and took great interest in the camp. We shall miss him. He has gone to join the great majority of those who marched to the tap of his drum. But we, too, shall soon follow them.

Story about Henry "Dad" Brown's funeral in Darlington written in the
(Columbia) State newspaper in November 1907.

In 2000, the city of Darlington erected a historical marker near his gravesite honoring his memory. 

SC Historical Marker honoring Confederate Veterans
Henry "Dad" Brown. Located on 204 Brockington Rd.
just off SC Hwy 52 in Darlington, SC.
Cannon Cemetery, Darlington, SC.
The grave of Confederate Veteran Henry Brown.
Note the Confederate Cross of Honor and
US Veteran markers at the foot of the grave.

United Confederate Veterans Reunion Banner.

This post is dedicated to the honored memory of Henry "Dad" Brown, United Confederate Veteran, soldier, and free Southern man, and for all of those regardless of their race, religion, or creed who served with honor in defense of South Carolina and Southern independence (1861-1865). 

Your memory will never be forgotten.

Non Sibi Sed Patriae.
Deo Vindice!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Carl's Lemonade Stand Pie Recipe

The refreshing taste of a tall, cool glass of lemonade in a very delicious pie. A perfect treat for summertime down here in Dixie.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes (including freezing) 

1/3 cup Country Time Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed 
1 (6 oz.) Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust 

Place drink mix in large bowl. Add water; stir until mix is dissolved. Add ice cream. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Freeze, if necessary, until mixture is thick enough to mound. 

Spoon into crust.

Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight until firm. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Let stand at room temperature until pie can easily be cut. Store leftover pie until freezer. Makes 8 servings.  

A wonderful dessert for those hot summertime evening suppers. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Historic Catholic Presbyterian Church In Chester County

SC Historical Marker for the historical Catholic Presbyterian
Church on SC Highway 97 in Chester County.

Chester County's historic Catholic Presbyterian Church is located off SC Highway 97 on SC Rd. 355 near the Blackstock community. 

Perhaps the oldest established churches in Chester County, the original brick meeting house built on the site of the historic Catholic Presbyterian Church was organized in 1759 by Scots-Irish settlers and formally recognized and named in 1770 by Reverend William Richardson. The church served the area's first European settlers (mostly Scots-Irish Presbyterians) and later sent a large number of soldiers and local Patriot militia from its congregation to fight in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolutionary War in the summer of 1780.

The current church building is the third built on the site. The present brick church building was completed in 1842 by an Irish immigrant named David Lyle and is still in use. The church has one of upstate South Carolina's longest records of continuous use. 

Known as the "Mother of Churches" in the area, Catholic Presbyterian was also the mother of other churches founded in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama by former members who migrated to those states. Built  of hand-pressed brick, and displays original features like molded brick cornices, pegged front doors, pine wood floors and pews, it stands today as a good example of meeting house architecture. 

The churchyard cemetery is surrounded by a fieldstone wall and contains many old grave markers that date back to the 18th and 19th century, including several Revolutionary War soldiers and Confederate soldiers. A granite marker, erected in 1933 by Catholic's Memorial Association lists the names of sixty-two soldiers from the church who served in the American Revolutionary War. 

The first name included on this marker is the Reverend William Martin (1716 - 1806) whom I mentioned in a previous blog post delivered a fiery anti-British sermon to members of this congregation on Sunday, June 11, 1780 at another meeting site two miles east of the present-day church. He was later captured by British Legion dragoons commanded by the infamous Captain Christian Huck from the nearby Rocky Mount outpost and imprisoned at Camden for several months before being later released by General Cornwallis. Martin preached at Catholic Presbyterian for several years.

The Catholic Presbyterian Church was listed in the National Registry on May 6, 1971. Click HERE to view the nomination form.

Revolutionary War Memorial in front of the Catholic Presbyterian
Church graveyard lists the names of 62 members of the congregation
who served in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. 

These men fought in local militia companies and with General Thomas Sumter
opposing British occupiers and their Loyalist supporters throughout upstate
South Carolina and lower North Carolina in 1780-81 -- including the battles
at Ramsour's Mill,
Williamson Plantation, Rocky Mount, Hanging Rock,
Fishing Creek, Kings Mountain, Fishdam Ford, Blackstocks, and Cowpens.

In addition to the Catholic Presbyterian Church's historical significance to the local history of Chester County, this blogger also has a personal connection to this place -- my dad, uncle and aunt are buried in the newer part of the cemetery. 

Carl Edward Roden -- my dad. RIP
James Wesley "Cooter" Roden -- my uncle. RIP
Cathy Wright Roden -- my aunt. RIP

I hope that y'all enjoyed my blog post about historic Catholic Presbyterian Church. Please leave a comment below if you have more information that I might have overlooked in my research and wish to add to the sharing of knowledge about the history of Chester County and upstate South Carolina. 

As always, y'all have a wonderful Dixie Day!